Banksy Print Self-Destructs at Auction After Artist Activates Hidden Shredder

12 October, 2018, 09:01 | Author: Ethel Goodwin
  • Banksy girl with balloon self destruct Sothebys shredder

Banksy, the elusive British street artist, stunned the art world on Friday, October 5, with one of his most elaborate and shocking pranks.

The art world was left in shreds when Banksy's famous Girl with Balloon - one of the artist's most famous works depicting an image of a girl releasing a red balloon - self-destructed.

Sotheby's European head of contemporary art Alex Branczik is still trying to get his head around the situation. The video is captioned with a quote by the Spanish artist Picasso, who had said the urge to destroy was also a creative urge. The video showed images of a shredder being implanted into a picture frame along with footage of Friday's auction finale. "Other copies of the painting have been auctioned over the years".

Sotheby's said this was "certainly" the first time a work of art started to shred itself after coming under the hammer. Sotheby's would not reveal the name of the buyer of the work but, according to the New York Times, confirmed that the client was a private collector who placed the winning bid with a Sotheby's staffer via the phone.

The anonymous buyer of a Banksy painting that was partially shredded at an auction has agreed to proceed with her payment of 1.04 million pounds (1.37 million dollars) despite the damage to the artwork, the auctioneers said on Thursday.

Never had we seen such a scene during an auction.




Banksy fans have matched this up to Gunningham - Rob, short for Robin - or potentially Robert Del Naja, better known as 3D. However, when Banksy does something insane like shredding his own artwork, it will naturally have a dramatic affect on values.

Auctioneers have promised no more stunts as they look to sell off Slave Labour, which features a young boy creating bunting at a sewing machine.

It opened with the caption: "A few years ago, I secretly built a shredder into a painting".

It was instantly recognisable as a Banksy to anyone familiar with his work.

However, he also expected that, given all the media attention on the Sotheby's stunt, Banksy probably only added to the shredded piece's allure.

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